Networking is a part of life and essential to career growth but networking like many other things, can go wrong when caution and courtesy are not applied. Time is a scarce commodity these days and the last thing you need is to lose great people in a network you have worked hard to build.
How do you network without leaving others feeling used or cheated? Here are 5 surefire ways:
1. Employ Tact and Diplomacy
Perhaps you need to make requests from someone in your network? If so, always be polite and don’t take offense if you don’t get the answer you are hoping for. Getting angry will only disqualify you from making another request ever again.
2. Careful Referrals
Don’t just send other people’s resumes to people in your network without appraising them first. Forwarding badly-done resumes may cast doubts on your own professionalism.
3. Follow Up
Cultivate the habit of sending emails to people in your network. You can choose to do that once or twice in a month.
- Exclude: Gossip or Valentine escapades.
- Include: The latest projects, lessons, or certifications you have acquired or one you are preparing for.
4. Show Appreciation
You should show appreciation whenever you get leads from someone in your network. They will feel good and give you more.
5. Be Patient
One meeting does not a best friend make. It will take time depending on time constraints and even personal preference. Don’t stalk by calling late at night to ask for favors. Consider timing; call during lunch break or sitting-in-traffic-time and definitely not late especially when the person is married. Respect family time, God knows we have too little of that these days!